Your Unanswered Questions From the Silicon Valley Bike Summit

Your Unanswered Questions From the Silicon Valley Bike Summit

Share Tweet You may recall the rousing plenary discussion at the 5th Annual Silicon Valley Bicycle Summit between our Executive Director, Shiloh Ballard; head of VTA, Nuria Fernandez; and head of San Mateo County Transit District, Jim Hartnett. We had so many excellent audience questions that we couldn’t get to them all and so we promised to follow up with our speakers and have those questioned answered for you, our dear audience. So without further delay, here are the answers from: Mark Simon, Senior Advisor/Strategic Initiatives, San Mateo County Transit District Nuria Fernandez, General Manager and CEO of Valley Transportation Authority How are your agencies addressing questions of equity (economic, racial, modal) in transportation and transit? How can we actively engage low-income communities in improving access to safe bicycling and transit? MS: We are required by law, ADA and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, to operate both our systems within federal guidelines for social, racial and economic justice. Any change in service or fares triggers a Title VI review and public meetings that include multi-lingual outreach and information that includes targeting low-income and minority communities. SamTrans carries significant numbers of low-income customers – 67 percent don’t have a car, 41 percent have a household income below $25,000. Most take the bus to work or school. As you might expect, these numbers are substantially different for Caltrain, but for both systems, we have an extensive discount program for low-income, senior and student customers. Encouraging cycling – as you know we provide more bike space on our trains than any system in the country and cyclists can bring their...
Your Help Needed to Continue Willow Glen road Re-sizing

Your Help Needed to Continue Willow Glen road Re-sizing

As most of you know, we have been promoting the Willow Glen/Lincoln Avenue Road Diet since early spring. The street redesign got rid of a travel lane in each direction, adding a center turn lane and bike lanes. Not only is the Avenue much nicer to ride a bike down, it is also safer for pedestrians and motorists as it has reduced speeds and improved sight lines. The pilot has wrapped up and the Department of Transportation now needs direction from our elected leaders. There are essentially three options: keep the road diet permanently, ditch it and revert to the old design, or extend the trial. I and several others feel the pilot was too short and we could gather more data about the safety and economic impacts with more time. An extension will also give City staff more time to make adjustments in order to improve traffic flow without sacrificing safety. Councilmember Oliverio has written a memo to the Rules Committee to that effect. The Committee will take up his request to extend the pilot this Wednesday, 9/23. The Committee will decide whether or not to bring the issue to the full city council for a vote. I am requesting your help! If you are free at 2:00 on Wednesday, 9/23, please join me at the meeting in City Hall Wing Rooms 118-120 and tell the Rules Committee you support an extension of the trial. Be ready to stay for one to two hours – we hear there will be a large constituency of opponents there and the comment period could take a while. Be ready to talk...
San Mateo County Creates Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

San Mateo County Creates Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

After (at least) five years of advocacy from your friendly, local Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, San Mateo County has finally created a standalone Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC)! Passed by San Mateo County’s Board of Supervisors, the committee will be composed of five members “who regularly walk and/or ride a bicycle for transportation purposes,” such that “one member represents the interests of the bicycle community, one member represents the Safe Routes to School community, and one member represents the interests of the older adult community. The two remaining seats shall be at-large.” The resolution states that, “more can be done to increase rates of active transportation and to improve the quality of facilities that serve people making daily trips by walking and bicycling.” Duties will include advising the Board of Supervisors and other departments on funding and project priorities for biking and walking, encouragement and education programs to increase walking and bicycling for transportation, and making recommendations on the County’s road resurfacing and maintenance program. The Committee will also address biking and walking mobility as it relates to, “the needs of school children through Safe Routes to Schools, business districts, seniors, people with disabilities, and disadvantaged communities.” This huge success is a long time coming. First, SVBC worked with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to require cities to have Bicycle Advisory Committees (BAC/BPAC) in order to be eligible to receive Transportation Development Act – Article 3 (TDA-3) funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects. For several years, this requirement was ignored or unenforced. Meanwhile, we were pushing hard to get a countywide Active Transportation Coordinator, who was finally funded...
The Big Picture of Envision Silicon Valley

The Big Picture of Envision Silicon Valley

As many of you have heard, VTA and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group have spent much of the past year and a half researching projects and public opinion for a potential 2016 transportation sales tax ballot measure, a process and product called Envision Silicon Valley. Though the primary motivation for placing such a measure on the ballot is Phase II of the BART extension, additional revenue from the tax could provide a significant source of funding for bike, pedestrian, transit, and general roadway projects. In Alameda County, a similar tax known as Measure BB passed last year, resulting in $1 billion for bike and pedestrian projects. Think of what we could do for biking and walking with that kind of money in Santa Clara County! SVBC has been working closely with VTA and other involved organizations to better understand the parameters of any potential ballot measure, as well as to determine how much money might become available for active transportation projects, weigh in on the goals and metrics associated with the measure, and solicit input from our members about what kinds of projects they would like to see funded. I sit on the VTA B/PAC, where VTA staff gives monthly updates on the Envision Silicon Valley process; I have also participated on the VTA advocates stakeholder group. At SVBC, each of our three Santa Clara County Local Teams have discussed the tax measure, and we dedicated our most recent Policy Advisory Committee meeting to presentations by VTA and the Leadership Group on the topic, followed by a discussion of SVBC’s priorities. Yesterday was the due date for public agencies...
Summer Bicycling Workshops for 100 San Jose Youth + Free Bikes!

Summer Bicycling Workshops for 100 San Jose Youth + Free Bikes!

Bikes and sunny days: what could be better? This summer, SVBC partnered with the City of San Jose’s Fit Camp program to deliver fun, engaging, and educational bicycling workshops to youth throughout the city. Nearly 100 youth from six community centers gained knowledge and confidence as they learned essential bike riding skills through instruction, fun games, bicycle rodeos, maintenance workshops, and rides. Some of the top highlights from camps included a couple of rides through neighborhood streets and along the Los Gatos Creek Trail. Through this program, we were also as able to donate 18 bikes and 39 helmets to youth in most need, as well as provide a fleet of bikes for the Roosevelt Community Center to utilize in future year-round bike programs. These bikes were donated by Palo Alto-based software company TIBCO, who also enjoyed a fun, team-building day of building the bikes and getting them ready for the youth. We thank TIBCO for their generous donation of bikes and the City of San Jose’s Safe Summer Initiatives program for funding these workshops that kept youth active and engaged through the summer. TIBCO bike donation — Thanks! Youth skills course Ride along the Los Gatos Creek...